Last updated: 
January 12, 2023

How to clear UPSC in first attempt

Clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Service Examination (CSE) in your first attempt is a challenging but achievable goal. With the right approach and mindset, you can increase your chances of success and become a civil servant. Here are some tips on how to clear the UPSC exam in your first attempt.

Post written by

Dr. Abhishek Kumar

A teacher and guide to the students preparing for the UPSC CSE and IFS examination for about two decades. He has helped close to 2000 students secure a rank in these examinations, with 9 of them getting All India Rank 1 and 100+ of them finding a place within the All India Top-10 list.

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The Union Public Service Commission Civil Service Exam (UPSC CSE), also known as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam, is a highly competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. It is a nationwide exam held to recruit candidates for various positions in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.

It is considered one of the toughest and most prestigious examinations in India, and often considered as a gateway to India's elite administrative services.

Success rate in the first attempt

The success rate of candidates who clear the Civil Service Exam (CSE), also popularly known as the UPSC exam, in their first attempt varies from year to year and depends on a number of factors such as the number of candidates appearing for the exam, the level of difficulty of the exam, and the overall performance of the candidates.

However, generally, the percentage of candidates who clear the UPSC exam in their first attempt is relatively low. It's one of the toughest exams with low pass percentage and high competition. According to the data available, it is less than 8%. However, with hard work and dedication, it is possible to clear the exam in the first attempt.

Tips on how to clear UPSC in first attempt

Clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Service Examination (CSE) in your first attempt is a challenging but achievable goal. With the right approach and mindset, you can increase your chances of success and become a civil servant. Here are some tips on how to clear the UPSC exam in your first attempt:

  1. Understand the exam pattern: The UPSC exam has three stages - the preliminary exam, the main exam, and the interview. Familiarize yourself with the pattern of each stage, the number and types of of questions, the duration of the exam, and the marking scheme. This will help you plan your studies and focus on the areas that require the most attention.
  2. Create a study plan: A study plan is crucial for staying on track and making the most of your time. Identify the areas you need to focus on, set goals for yourself, and allocate time for each subject. Make sure to include time for revisions and practice tests in your plan. It's also important to remember to take regular breaks to avoid burnout and stay refreshed.
  3. Take expert’s help: Having a right plan is essential for successful execution of any task. Hence, it is strongly recommended to take the help of an experienced guide to make a plan as this is a crucial stage and a lot will depend on this planning. The expertise of the guide will help you create an apt plan that can be executed in an efficient manner.
  4. Focus on the fundamentals: The UPSC exam tests your understanding of fundamental concepts in various subjects such as Indian Polity, History, Geography, Science And Technology, Environment, International Relations, and Economic Development among others. To excel in the exam, you must have a solid grasp of the core concepts. Try to read the standard textbooks on these subjects, and take detailed notes that you can refer to later.
  5. Move to advanced resources after fundamentals: Once the fundamental reading is complete, it is important to move onto the next stage of reading. It is recommended to get expert help in constructing a booklist that matches the standards of the exam. It is best not to rely on any and every piece of advice that can be found on the internet or YouTube as it can be confusing. Once a booklist has been decided on, it is important to stick to it.
  6. Practice previous years' question papers: Previous years' question papers are a great way to familiarize yourself with the type of questions that come in the UPSC exam. They will also give you an idea of the level of difficulty of the exam, and help you identify the areas you need to work on.
  7. Stay informed about current affairs: The UPSC exam also tests your knowledge of current affairs, both national and international and under each area of General Studies. Try to stay informed about the latest developments in the world, and read newspapers and magazines that focus on current affairs. Reading a national newspaper such as The Hindu is sufficient for staying updated with current affairs. Making self-notes while reading helps you to effectively recall the information when needed, which is why this activity can be very beneficial. Magazines and compilations are important supplements that can be used in addition to reading newspapers, as it provides an opportunity to gain knowledge on various topics in more detail.
  8. Look after yourself well: It is of utmost importance to look after our health and mental well-being while preparing for academic endeavours. Taking time off to relax, exercise, and maintain a balanced diet can greatly contribute to a healthy body and mind which are essential components in achieving success. Additionally, it is important to have an adequate amount of sleep in order to ensure that we are recharged and ready for the day ahead.
  9. Stay Positive and motivated: UPSC is one of the toughest exam one might take, Stay positive and focused towards your goal.

Role of a coaching institute

In addition to the tips mentioned above, having a good guide or coaching institute such as Evolution can be extremely beneficial in your UPSC exam preparation. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Expert guidance: Coaching institutes employ experienced teachers and subject matter experts who have a deep understanding of the UPSC exam and can guide you through the preparation process. They can provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to approach the exam, and can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Structured approach: Coaching institutes follow a structured approach to preparing for the UPSC exam. They usually have a set curriculum and syllabus that covers all the necessary topics and subjects. This can help you stay organized and on track with your studies.
  3. Study material: Coaching institutes often provide comprehensive study material, including notes, sample papers, and previous years' question papers, which can be very helpful in your preparation.
  4. Mock tests and evaluation: Coaching institutes conduct mock tests on a regular basis, this helps you to be familiarize with the Exam pattern and atmosphere. This can help you evaluate your performance and identify areas that need improvement.
  5. Group study: Joining a coaching institute can also provide you with the opportunity to study and interact with other students who are preparing for the UPSC exam. Group study can be beneficial in providing motivation and support for each other.
  6. Regular Feedback and Doubt Clearing: A good coaching institutes provides regular feedback and doubt clearing sessions, which can help you stay on track with your studies and improve your understanding of the subjects.

It is important to keep in mind that joining a coaching institute does not guarantee success in the UPSC exam, but it can certainly provide you with the guidance and support you need to increase your chances of success.

Conclusion

In conclusion, clearing the UPSC exam in your first attempt is a challenging task but with the right approach, discipline, and mindset, you can achieve it. Remember to focus on the fundamentals, practice previous years' question papers, stay informed about current affairs, and most importantly, stay motivated and positive. Believe in yourself and work hard, and you will be one step closer to becoming a civil servant.

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